The Mitsubishi MiEV plug-in electric car is not on sale yet in the U.S. yet, but I got the chance to test drive a prototype recently, and loved every minute.
I wish you could have seen the smile on my face or heard me giggle as I steered the Mitsubishi MiEV in tight circles around and around one of the huge pillars that dot the garage underneath the Staples Center in Los Angeles. And more smiles and giggles when when I used those pillars as slalom poles, weaving back and forth. It is just plain fun to drive.
MiEV stands for Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle. It is a four-seater a bit smaller than a Volkswagen Beetle, about the same size as the Smartfortwo, both of which are gas-powered, not electric. The MiEV handled well in traffic, steers easily, with great acceleration, plus that amazing turning radius.
When I floored it after a red light, it practically bolted to 45mph. Certainly not a Ferrari, but a whole lot more ‘car’ than an upgraded golf cart, like the GEM.
The dashboard sports a meter which reports the status of the battery. The MiEV can drive nearly 100 miles before it needs to be plugged in — more than enough to get you to the office, supermarket and weekend errands, although not a weekend getaway.
It recharges overnight on standard 110 Volts, or in three hours at 220.